Deron-Less Jazz Era Begins: Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks Betting Predictions

Utah Jazz AT Dallas Mavericks
Feb 23, 2011 at 8:30 PM EST
Opening Line:  Dallas -7
Current Line:  Dallas -9.5
Opening Total:  203
Current Total:  200
Opening Moneyline:  Dal -310 / Uta +260
Current Moneyline:  Dal -600 / Utah +400

Deron Williams will no longer be in that huddle

As if things weren’t going bad enough for Utah, they now lost their starting point guard, best player, and leading scorer Deron Williams for a mediocre point guard (Devin Harris) and a raw prospect (Derrick Favors).  Utah has to be signaling that they are building around Millsap and Al Jefferson, with a big focus on interior play.  Now that Sloan is gone the Jazz may go away from the pick and roll style Sloan emphasized all of Stockton & Malone’s careers, and extending it right up until recently with Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer (now in Chicago).  Devin Harris will work well enough with Utah’s bigs, but he’s just not Deron Williams.  Williams was proving himself to be arguably the very best point guard in the league, or at least the best in the Western Conference (Overall, Derrick Rose might be better).  Since the news of the Williams trade, the line has shifted over two points further in Dallas’ favor.

The Mavericks come in playing excellent ball and are not rumored to be in any trade negotiations at all.  They’ve won 11 of their last 12 and have won 8 straight at home.  They didn’t make any trades because all in all, they are the most complete team in the league with each position covered by at least an above average player.  They just don’t have that many real weaknesses.  That’s not to say they are the best team in the league; the Spurs, Celtics, Heat, and Lakers are probably all better; but they are among the best.

Some betting trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Utah’s last 5 games.  Utah is 1-5 SU in their last 6 games and 7-18 ATS in their last 25 games.  The total has gone OVER In 10 of Utah’s last 14 on the road.  Utah is 2-7 SU in their last 9 road games and 3-6 ATS in those 9 games.  Utah is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 against the Mavericks and 2-4 SU in their last 6 against them, as well.  The total has gone OVER in 4 of Utah’s last 5 games on the road against Dallas, and Utah is 2-13 SU in their last 15 road games against Dallas.  Utah is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games against Dallas.

The total has gone OVER in all 5 of Dallas’ last 5 games.  Dallas is 13-1 SU in their last 14 games and 5-0 SU in their last 5 at home. The total has gone OVER in 7 of Dallas’ last 9 home games.  Dallas is 4-2 SU In their last 6 games against Utah and the total has gone OVER in 4 of Dallas’ last 5 games at home against Utah.  Dallas is 13-2 SU in their last 15 home games against Utah.

Key Matchups:

Paul Millsap vs. Dirk Nowitzki

I don’t think I need to tell you which is the better player in this matchup, but Millsap has been very good, in all seriousness.  He did put up 46 against the Heat, and Dirk’s highest is 42 (against Detroit).  Millsap is a lot shorter than Dirk.  Dirk is a true 7’0″ while Millsap is realistically about 6’6″, though listed at 6’8.”  Dirk will have no problem getting his jumpers off over Millsap and when he goes to the basket he should be able to reach over Millsap and score with ease.  Millsap will score a little on offense, simply because he finds ways to get easy baskets.  Without Deron Williams, a lot of easy baskets that Millsap would have received before may disappear now, or even when Devin Harris does enter the Jazz lineup.

Al Jefferson vs. Tyson Chandler

Chandler is up for the job of handling Jefferson.  Despite being much thinner, Chandler has the strength and guile to do a good job of covering someone like Al Jefferson, whose cumbersome and slow movements may be trumped by Chandler’s speed.  Chandler is nearly averaging a double-double (10.5 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game), and he leads the league in field goal percentage at 66.5%.  He doesn’t play outside of his comfort zone and takes all good shots, ideal for a big man on any team.  Jefferson has great footwork, but it will take more than good footwork to score on Chandler.  Oddly, Tyson Chandler only blocks 1.1 shots a game, not a good indicator of the impact he has on defense.

Tonight’s game might be best to bet on sooner than later.  With the news of Deron Williams being moved, the line will continue to shift further and further in Dallas’ favor.

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